Sunday, June 7, 2009

fast cars, fast boys

I've been working for several months on a novel that's due, uh... soon. At the end of June, in fact. Since I'm still about 10k away from the end and the pesky day job is taking up a lot of time and attention right now, it'll be a very exciting race to the finish. HA, and since it's a novel about professional stock car racing, see how I just made a joke?


.... Let's move on. A lot of this novel moved slowly for me because it involved actual research into the world of sprint cars. My husband has been a really good sport (as he often is) about answering my ridiculous questions about drivers, their contracts, their sponsors, and general rules of racing. I just wanted to get to the good stuff; namely, the sex and fighting. Since I've now gotten to write both, I thought I'd give just a little snip of the book that's been making me tear my hair out since the beginning of this year.

Meet Mitch and Pacey:

A second thud, harder than the one he’d taken from the wall, knocked any thoughts of finishing out of his head. Mitch had to blink to clear his vision from the jolt and crunch. Danny had slammed him again and the two of them came to a silent, shuddering stop on the grass. Mitch heard the cars on the track ease off on their throttles, which meant the yellow flag had gone up and they were driving under caution.

“Damn it,” Mitch muttered, then again, louder. “God damn it all!” He struggled to get his seatbelt off so he could climb out and inspect the damage. His only consolation at this point was that Danny wasn’t going to be able to finish, either.

The five point harness that neatly bound Mitch to his seat chose not to cooperate with the attempts to unbuckle himself. Frustrated, Mitch fumbled with his helmet and head restraint instead, anxious to get it off and get out of the suddenly restrictive safety devices.

His neck support refused to cooperate too, clearly in cahoots with the safety belt. Mitch glanced up through his protective goggles and saw Danny already climbing out of his car. Mitch redoubled his efforts to free himself.

The adrenaline that still thrummed through him made his task difficult, however, and Mitch felt the first beginnings of panic at not being able to get loose. He’d only been trapped one other time in his career, and even though that situation had been cause for real panic, even the memory of it was enough to make Mitch’s heart pound and his head swim with anxiety.

He was still yanking ineffectually at his seat harness by the time medical showed up. Mitch barely registered the men in blue that were surrounding his car. He was too intent on getting free, getting out of his car before what happened last time happened again, so when his window webbing was torn down, Mitch swallowed a startled gasp and looked up.

“Keep still, man.” Serious blue eyes, the lightest shade Mitch could ever remember seeing, were searching Mitch’s face. “Anything hurt? Are you stuck?”

“My harness,” Mitch said lamely. His thumb remained on the button, trying to get it to unsnap.

Dark brows drew together and the medic reached a hand inside the car. He put his fingers over Mitch’s and pressed down. There was audible click that Mitch could hear even through his helmet, and then he was suddenly free.

He shrugged the harness off and scrambled for the window, anxious to get out of the confined space. Once he was outside the car, maybe his heart would stop pounding so hard.

“Whoa, hey, easy there.” Strong hands were on Mitch’s forearms, easing him back down in his seat. “You should know the rules. You don’t move until medical checks you out.” Blue Eyes gave a quick smile, but something told Mitch there was seriousness behind it. “Got any neck or back pain?”

“Uh.” Mitch blinked and tried to concentrate on how he was feeling. His harness was unsnapped, so there was no more reason for his harsh breathing or shaking fingers. “No. No neck pain. He didn’t hit me that hard.”

It was true; Mitch had known as soon as Danny had made contact that they’d both walk away from it. There had been worse wrecks. Much worse.

“Hard enough,” the medic said casually. “Sit tight, I’ll let you out in a minute.” He scanned the inside of the car and then gave Mitch an up-down look that would have gotten Mitch’s phone number in his pocket if they’d been in a bar.

While the paramedic inspected as much of Mitch as he could from outside the car, Mitch gathered himself together enough to at least light his gaze on the medic’s shiny silver name tag beneath his badge. Pacey Evans.

“Pacey?” Mitch said before he could stop himself. There was a crackling bit of transmission feedback in his ear and he winced. He’d forgotten his mic was on. “That’s your real name?”

Those light blue eyes snapped up to meet Mitch’s own. “Yeah,” he said, a hint of a smile playing about his lips. “That’s my real name. You can climb out now.”


Aaaaand there you have their first meeting. Mitch Baker, my professional NASCAR driver, and Pacey Evans, track medic. A match made in heaven, or so it seems. Look for this novel sometime in September or October of 2009!


Keira Andrews said...


I approve heartily of the name choice. Also, I am v.v. intrigued already! Can't wait to read this.

Tory Temple said...

You mean the character's name? HEH. I will admit to watching the Creek now and then. Mitch is actually about to find out that Pacey was not ONLY named for a city in France. :D

Louisa Edwards said...

I really loved that excerpt! And I'm not someone who has ever been remotely interested in race cars, so it was very cool to be drawn in so fast.

Tory Temple said...

Thanks, Louisa! I'm not a huge race fan myself, but I'm pretty familiar with the sport because my husband likes it. Glad this worked for you.

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